With final numbers in on the summer season, there is no one answer for how business went in the village.
“We were down a bit, but not a great deal,” said Vin Russo, owner of Mickey’s Place on Main Street. “It wasn’t an incredible decline, but it was a decline.”
Russo also said that he didn’t feel that this year’s smaller Hall of Fame induction weekend really affected his business much, saying that the decline was more the result of a softer season in general.
“It wasn’t catastrophic by any stretch of the imagination,” said Russo. “In comparison to the year before the size of the crowd wasn’t substantially different.”
Russo also didn’t think that Cooperstown instituting on-street paid parking downtown for the summer hurt his business.
“I think the overwhelming majority of tourists were totally indifferent to it,” said Russo. “If anything it might have helped the tourist related businesses.”
At the same time, Russo said that there was no question that some businesses were hurt by the policy.
As for the other seasons, Russo said that his business was reliant on the National Baseball Hall of Fame to attract customers to town.
“It’s difficult for us as an independent store to bring customers to Cooperstown.”
On next year, Russo said the only thing he could see improving the business climate in Cooperstown would be attendance improving at the Hall of Fame.
But as Russo said, other stores had different results and opinion. Businesses that rely more on local customers seemed to be the hardest hit from the new paid parking. At least that’s the feeling at Rudy’s Liquor Store where summer was not a good season.
“We were down almost $1,000 a week (for June, July and August),” said Fred Lemister, owner of Rudy’s, which is also on Main Street. “That’s a lot of money, particularly in a small business.”